Are training injuries sustained by SS authors "proof" that the method is imperfect? Are training injuries sustained by SS authors "proof" that the method is imperfect?

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Thread: Are training injuries sustained by SS authors "proof" that the method is imperfect?

  1. #1
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    Default Are training injuries sustained by SS authors "proof" that the method is imperfect?

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    Is injury just a "matter of time"?

    First, I'd like to say hello, I'm a new forum member. Read SS and PP years ago, shelved my lifting career for a few years, and back it. Over this time, it became clear to me that SS is the way to go, and Rip's simplicity is not ignorance but closer to brilliance.

    I tore my left pec about 8 years ago, on the 5th rep of the 5th set of bench press. Because the injury was rehabbed incorrectly (which I learned through Rip), there is scar tissue. I feel this injury has set a cascade of imbalances, most notably neck and shoulder (and specifically the back of that particular shoulder). I contemplate the question "do you want to have a pec injury and be weak, or have a pec injury and be strong?" and my answer is definitely, I want to be strong. So, I carry on.

    But this leaves me with a fundamental question: Do these methods inevitably lead to injury? And if so, is that a flaw in the design?

  2. #2
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    An interesting question. We'll ask the board. Do you drive a car?

  3. #3
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    You are going to get hurt if you lift or not. I have been hurt less often with less severity as I've gotten stronger and conformed more closely to the SS models of lifting. This includes injuries under the bar and out of the gym. I got hurt a lot more and worse when I was in my early twenties and didn't know what I was doing. My clients get hurt less now that they are training with this model and are stronger.

    Perfection is a concept. All machines have tolerance error. All models have limitations that are not accounted for. That's what makes them models. A perfectly described system, by it's nature, precludes it from being a model. No strength training system or model will ever be able to account for and control enough variables to reduce the likelihood of injury to zero.

  4. #4
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    I drive a car. I've wondered about the inevitability of injury, and have concluded that if you continue to try to progress you will suffer some form of injury at some point, probably more than once. However, it seems that the likelihood of serious, debilitating, or long lasting injury is low. Low enough, anyway, to continue with the program.

  5. #5
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    The flaw is probably with your technique, not the method.

    Life inevitably leads to injury. Staying strong helps prevent injury and makes you more capable of coping with an injury.

    Can you hurt yourself lifting heavy shit? Sure, but you’ll hurt yourself lifting the fucking groceries if you get weak.

  6. #6
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    One also has to consider a flaw in the design of the human that get's injured. Maybe your pec would have torn pushing away from the thanksgiving table. I tore my retina a month or so ago, should I say that seeing is a flawed process? Maybe we should all close our eyes?

  7. #7
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    I am closing in on 72 years of age, so maybe not representative of most SS lifters. I think most injuries are the result of adding too much weight to the bar, or doing too many sets, trying to push progress too soon. Remember that slow progress is still progress. You probably have years left. The only way to speed things up is with anabolic drugs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamies33 View Post
    Is injury just a "matter of time"?

    First, I'd like to say hello, I'm a new forum member. Read SS and PP years ago, shelved my lifting career for a few years, and back it. Over this time, it became clear to me that SS is the way to go, and Rip's simplicity is not ignorance but closer to brilliance.

    I tore my left pec about 8 years ago, on the 5th rep of the 5th set of bench press. Because the injury was rehabbed incorrectly (which I learned through Rip), there is scar tissue. I feel this injury has set a cascade of imbalances, most notably neck and shoulder (and specifically the back of that particular shoulder). I contemplate the question "do you want to have a pec injury and be weak, or have a pec injury and be strong?" and my answer is definitely, I want to be strong. So, I carry on.

    But this leaves me with a fundamental question: Do these methods inevitably lead to injury? And if so, is that a flaw in the design?
    Let's be honest if you get old and you haven't built muscle you will likely be frail and injure yourself a lot easier and sooner than if you were strong.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smyth View Post
    I drive a car. I've wondered about the inevitability of injury, and have concluded that if you continue to try to progress you will suffer some form of injury at some point, probably more than once. However, it seems that the likelihood of serious, debilitating, or long lasting injury is low. Low enough, anyway, to continue with the program.
    If you've read Practical Programming, you should have seen the chart towards the back in the "Special Populations" section on training youths. On that chart, you will find that training injuries are very, very rare though more common than powerlifting competition injuries. I was surprised by this in two ways:
    1. Given the crazy things done to exploit the limits of the rules of powerlifting (gear, odd positions to limit the range of motion, etc.), I expected more injuries.
    2. Given the idiocy I've witnessed in the gym -- usually on the bench press -- I expected more injuries.

    Life is not a risk-free endeavor, no matter how much people want it to be. Attempts to mitigate risk require resources (cost) and usually create the opportunity for different risks (moral hazard). All in all, if one trains in accordance with the program as laid out in Starting Strength one will train with minimal risk. I highly doubt that the novice trainee will be strong enough to tear a pec or rupture a bicep tendon doing The Program. However, as training advances beyond the Novice stage and the weights get heavy that all changes. The harder and further any of us pushes our bodies, the closer we are to injury. Someone will no doubt correct me if I'm wrong, but I know of no device that can measure how near one is to his physical limit.

    What that means is the inevitably someone will rupture a bicep tendon doing speed deadlifts, or tear a pec on a bench press, or rupture a patellar tendon under a squat. These are things that can happen during normal training -- not a silly tandem barbell curl or rappelling with sketchy ropes like Calum Van Moger. But for most of us, that isn't going to happen either because we're lucky or we just aren't pushing that hard. It is, in my opinion, good to think about these things and humbling to remember. The reward, however, far outweighs the risk.

    But that wasn't your original question :-)

    The question of imperfections in the Starting Strength method is a far more complicated one, as evidenced by other treads on the forum. It requires the follow up questions of "perfect for what?" and "perfect for whom?" The Starting Strength method is primarily for training novices. Beyond the novice stage, the principals behind the Starting Strength method still apply but things slowly become more complicate; more training variables are manipulated on different schedules to drive a strength adaptation. I don't at what point your training could be considered "beyond" the Starting Strength method; someone else can answer that. But I would observe that the training injuries I'm aware of in the Starting Strength authors took place well after their novice period. I'm pretty sure Andy Baker was training in the womb.

    Based on what I know, I don't think any changes to the Starting Strength method will reduce the already small chance of training injury. That's one of the reasons I use it with my father, who has muscular dystrophy. I don't know that he'll ever squat 225 and I don't think he'll ever press 100, but he is moving better and is slowly regaining some of what he lost when he suddenly cut weight in a desperate attempt to avoid type 2 diabetes (it failed).

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    I haven't been doing this terribly long, but I've only really injured myself twice, both were the same minor injury. Tweaked a low back, both times by fucking up on the squat and getting off balance over mid-foot. It seems to me if you do the exercises correctly and don't bite off more than you can chew injuries seem unlikely.

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